Two new jarring cast members and an absurd ending spoil the potential of the premiere. This is still an intriguing and witty whodunit, but one that is quickly losing its grip.
This recap of the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building season 2, episode 2, “Framed,” contains spoilers.
Episode two, “Framed” begins with a history lesson, told in black and white, all about the Arconia. It explains how architect Archibald Carter hid many secret passageways and elevators within the building, which explains the one in Bunny’s apartment. We’re informed that Bunny was Archibald’s granddaughter and that she spent her entire life living inside the building. A further flashback introduces Charles’ father, an aspiring actor, who frequented the building as well. His story unfolds in this second instalment.
Only Murders in the Building season 2, episode 2 recap
The trio stare at the incriminating painting on Charles’ wall. They analyze the actual picture itself and then the significance of its mysterious arrival. Somebody clearly planted the painting here to frame Charles. On the back of the canvas is the word ‘Savage’ and Mabel uses this opportunity to confess her returning memory. She tells them that Bunny said the word ‘Savage’ as she died. Before there’s time to critique this revelation, there comes a knock at the door. The trio panic, comically dashing back and forth, attempting to hide the painting. Charles answers the door and is met by Howard, sporting a rather painful-looking black eye. He tells Charles he loves their podcast and that they’re invited to an impromptu wake for Bunny, held in her extravagant apartment.
At the gathering, the trio plan to return the painting to Bunny’s apartment via the hidden elevator in a well plotted scheme. Nina Lin announces to all that she is the new Board President. Interestingly, Howard tells the gang how this pregnant woman is a lot worse than Bunny ever was. I think this Nina character will be a tricky customer for our podcast sleuths and a possible new villain.
Bunny’s mother crashes the party, demanding her painting is promptly returned to her. She (literally) sniffs out the trio on their first encounter and declares that they are not the killers. See, a mother always knows, which feels very similar to a scene in Outer Range. The plan to replant the painting goes terribly wrong, with Charles accidentally locking them out of the building by the dumpsters. In a blind panic they ditch the million dollar painting by the bins and head home before being spotted.
The creators then find time to further develop our two new characters. Mabel pays Alice a visit and Oliver pitches his series to Amy Schumer. Alice presents Mabel with a piece of art, which she’s made, apparently inspired by Mabel herself. Alice passes her an axe and tells her to destroy this work. It’s a therapeutic exercise for Mabel, who then makes out with Alice. Meanwhile, Oliver pitches his adaptation to the comedian. Amy wants to play Jan (spoilers: she’s the killer from season one). During their discussion, Oliver notices the erotic painting hanging on her wall. Amy explains how she found it by the dumpsters and was drawn to it. Then she makes her offer, stating that she will only sign the series deal once the real killer is found. I’m really not sold on these two new additions yet. Both seem totally out of place in this world and their performances just don’t fit either.
Oliver explains to the gang how Amy has the painting. They all march up to her apartment and Bunny’s mother demands the painting be returned to her. On closer inspection it turns out to be a fake and the trio discuss the implications of a replica. This further adds to the notion that someone is framing Charles. He talks candidly with Bunny’s mother about his own father, who she knew. It is established that his father was having an affair with the painting’s creator Rose Cooper and Bunny’s mother too. The man got around.
The show then unfortunately heads towards the absurd in its final moments. Oliver is given Bunny’s pet bird as per the will and the talking bird says, ‘I know who did it’. This ending really does spoil the whole premise and pushes the show into needlessly silly territory. Hopefully the third chapter will get us back on track.
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